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Us Against You
2018
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The community of Beartown is divided by an effort to save the local hockey team that involves a challenging new hockey coach, three promising players and a dangerously escalating rival competition. By the best-selling author of A Man Called Ove. - (Baker & Taylor)

When the small community of Beartown learns their amateur ice hockey team may be disbanded, the tensions mount, but a surprising new coach offers a chance at a comeback. - (Baker & Taylor)

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and Beartown returns with an unforgettable novel “about people—about strength and tribal loyalty and what we unwittingly do when trying to show our boys how to be men” (Jojo Moyes).

Have you ever seen a town fall? Ours did.
Have you ever seen a town rise? Ours did that, too.

A small community tucked deep in the forest, Beartown is home to tough, hardworking people who don’t expect life to be easy or fair. No matter how difficult times get, they’ve always been able to take pride in their local ice hockey team. So it’s a cruel blow when they hear that Beartown ice hockey might soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in the neighboring town of Hed, take in that fact. As the tension mounts between the two adversaries, a newcomer arrives who gives Beartown hockey a surprising new coach and a chance at a comeback.

Soon a team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you’ll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; always dutiful and eager-to-please Bobo; and Vidar, a born-to-be-bad troublemaker. But bringing this team together proves to be a challenge as old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the town’s enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.

As the big game approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt intensifies. By the time the last goal is scored, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after everything, the game they love can ever return to something as simple and innocent as a field of ice, two nets, and two teams. Us against you.

Here is a declaration of love for all the big and small, bright and dark stories that give form and color to our communities. With immense compassion and insight, Fredrik Backman reveals how loyalty, friendship, and kindness can carry a town through its most challenging days. - (Simon and Schuster)

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Library Journal Reviews

The New York Times best-selling Backman revisits Beartown, where the cherished hockey team is slated for the dust heap. The players join a rival team in Hed, a new team forms (with a surprise coach), and a tense match with Hed ends in tragedy. Can love of the game be reclaimed?

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Library Journal Reviews

This follow-up to Beartown is about hockey—and everything else. Here the residents of Backman's isolated Swedish town, with some new additions, resume their lives where they left off at the end of the earlier novel. Since the history of each individual is examined and outlined in turn, new readers can catch up quickly. Some minor incidents in the first book play out in this one, exploding the little mines buried in Beartown. With a penchant for foreshadowing and then foiling readers' expectations, Backman widens the vision of the setting, encompassing the rival town of Hed and its own hockey team, made up of former players from Beartown's soon-to-be disbanded league. It's just a game, two teams, sticks and pucks. Us against you, doesn't that say it all? VERDICT There is even more potential for book group discussion here as Backman explores violence, political maneuvering, communities, feminism, sexuality, criminality, the role of sports in society, and what makes us all tick. [See Prepub Alert, 12/11/17.]—Mary K. Bird-Guilliams, Chicago

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

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